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Range Segmentation

How An Emotional Approach to Segmentation Can Unlock Your Brand’s Storytelling Power

by Lisa Desforges on 28/03/2023

Range segmentation – how a brand breaks down its products – is very often a pragmatic matter. Some ranges fall naturally into product types (ice creams vs sorbets) or packaging formats (tubs vs bars), or neatly into functional benefits (low-calorie vs high-protein), or pricing strategies (everyday vs premium) – and of course these market-driven divisions provide clear direction for navigation, communication and design.

If segmentation is only considered on a rational and very functional level, brands can miss a brilliant creative opportunity for storytelling. Ranging strategies that bring together product type and consumer need as well as brand personality can create instant differentiation, building engagement and winning loyalty through that deeper emotional connection. The key is to make consumers feel seen, understood and included – and not simply targeted.

By taking a more thoughtful approach to segmentation and storytelling, brands can maximise the creative opportunity and set strong foundations for future growth, while strengthening their unique brand essence and category positioning.

Pukka Teas

Pukka has an incredibly wide range of a single product type – a broad collection of herbal teas that can be navigated in numerous ways. Depending on a consumer’s mindset, they may wish to think about tea from the point of view of ingredient, usage or occasion, or even through benefit, dietary requirement or mood – there’s a whole lot to consider. And from a packaging point of view, the brand’s instantly recognisable patterned boxes do a great job of communicating a lot of information. Broadly divided into benefit-led families, the design layers on additional information through background colour, key ingredient illustration and naming to guide people through the range.

But it’s in Pukka’s online navigation that the depth of the range becomes truly apparent. Here an intersecting segmentation enables shoppers to search the range in the way that best meets their needs – from overarching benefit to hero herb, and from dietary need to time of day. These groupings reflect the complexity of Pukka’s products and make it simple for consumers to find exactly the right tea for them based on factors they’re familiar with – for example, locating a vegan tea that’s good for digestion, suitable for night-time and that definitely contains licorice.

Where Pukka’s online segmentation gets really exciting though, is with the addition of a search feature around Ayurvedic Dosha – an ancient philosophy of energy patterns that can be balanced through diet. While the wisdom of Ayurveda is becoming increasingly popular, it’s doubtful that large numbers of consumers have it front of mind as they approach their online shopping, but by including this search tool on its site, Pukka is saying something important about its brand and its philosophy simply through the mechanics of online navigation. Incorporating Dosha in this way reflects Pukka’s authentic brand story as a business built around the holistic principles of Ayurveda. It should be no surprise to find that Pukka means authentic in Hindi.

La Zuppa

Australian healthy soup brand La Zuppa had a growing portfolio of soup flavours, ambition to move into products beyond soup, a lack of clear range architecture, and a desire to introduce Malaysian, Moroccan or Mexican flavours. They were also grappling with their story, the founding family arrived in Australia from Italy over 100 years ago, and the brand’s essence was based on this Italian heritage.

Inspired by the idea of a family cookbook, we worked with La Zuppa to introduce a new creative range segmentation to transform their story from one based on looking backwards to one that embraces looking forwards. The product range breaks down into three chapters, with Chapter One “Italian Traditions” telling the story of the first generation of pioneers coming to Australia with a collection of heritage-infused Italian recipes. Chapter Two, “Hearty Classics”, describes the second generation of first-born Australians, offering familiar home-style flavours and staples of a traditional Australian diet. Finally, Chapter Three “Global Adventures”, is inspired by the family’s grandchildren – a new generation of international travellers and global citizens, enabling the introduction of exciting dishes from all around the world.

This created a new language for design across the brand’s packaging, and a more emotional story to tell across social media platforms. Echoing a positive immigration narrative that feels right for a contemporary Australian brand, the new approach to segmentation sets up their multicultural future while celebrating La Zuppa’s roots.

Get creative with segmentation

Considering range segmentation in exciting and novel ways can be a valuable tool in creating category differentiation and consumer engagement, helping people feel closer to your range and more intrigued to explore beyond their comfort zone. Crucially, it can be an effective way to align your product with your brand’s personality, giving tone of voice a place to shine and ensuring your future pipeline stays in step with your authentic story.

Article originally published on BrandingMag.com. Author Lisa Desforges, Head of Strategy at B&B.